The Church's stance on the death penalty is nearly identical my stance on abortion!

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Laurence_of_PA

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From what I have read, the Church obviously hates the fact that we have a death penalty. The institution, after all, carries with it plenty of grief, pain, and other bad-bads. At the same time though, the Church believes that it can be an unfortunate yet necessary option in many instances – from justice to public safety to overall public well-being.



**Now, replace everything above about the death-penalty with abortion and you might come to better understand the “pro-choice position”. **

Or in other words, calling us “pro-abortion” would be as logical and empathetic as calling the Church “pro-death-penatly”, unless of course, any of you out there participate in “pro-execution” parades on busy public promenades! 😛

I, by the way, am anti-execution. 😉
 
From what I have read, the Church obviously hates the fact that we have a death penalty. The institution, after all, carries with it plenty of grief, pain, and other bad-bads. At the same time though, the Church believes that it can be an unfortunate yet necessary option in many instances – from justice to public safety to overall public well-being.
Actually, no, the Church’s position is that the death penalty should be only necessary in very rare, or even “practically nonexistant” situations:
"Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.
If, however, nonlethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.
Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically nonexistent." - CCC 2267
Some Catholics argue that they are not required to accept or obey on this. For them, your argument might apply. The sentence “in conformity to the dignity of the human person” ties this to an teaching of the Second Vatican Council. Pope John Paul II used this teaching in EVANGELIUM VITAE as part of his justification for the absolute nature of our infallible ban on abortion. He also introduced the above teaching on the death penalty at that time. So, in a theological sense, undermining JPII’s reasoning on the death penalty also undermines his reasoning on abortion.
 
Actually, no, the Church’s position is that the death penalty should be only necessary in very rare, or even “practically nonexistant” situations:
Of course, but by saying so the “death solution” is still on the table. The last time I checked, most pro-choicers feel the same way about ugly little abortions, and if not most, at least me. So in essence, you already understand pro-choice.
Some Catholics argue that they are not required to accept or obey on this.
Why so non-binding? Is there a reason the Church is *afraid *to ban the death penalty altogether?

Why not apply the same reasoning to dirty, dirty abortion?
 
Of course, but by saying so the “death solution” is still on the table. The last time I checked, most pro-choicers feel the same way about ugly little abortions, and if not most, at least me. So in essence, you already understand pro-choice.
:confused:

You think abortion is justified only in extremely rare situations? That doesn’t sound like most pro-choicers I’ve encountered.
 
Some Catholics argue that they are not required to accept or obey on this. For them, your argument might apply.
Only if one can sustitute at will anything in the catechism. How about, I believe the need to rape someone is rare, and only occasionally justified. Or, I believe the cases were people should be lynched are rare and almost non-existent.

One can not substitute something that is an inate moral evil into the formula for the death penalty, which is not an inate moral evil and expect the equation to balance.
 
Why not apply the same reasoning to dirty, dirty abortion?
The Church is not arbitrary, and it also strives to be consistant. Our ban on abortion was not, unequivocally, absolute until 1889. As late as 1869 the Church decline to rule on the question of abortions to save the life of the mother. The teaching is consistant, abortions have been viewed as a moral disorder since the time of Christ in Jewish law, priorities just follow knowledge and time. Case in point, just about the time eugenics began to emerge and grow in popularity, the Church began to look very hard at the full implications of our teachings on early abortion.

Similiarly, the church has long taught that the purpose of law is the promotion and preservation of life. This is clearly expressed in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, and has its foundation in 2nd and 3rd century teachings. The death penalty was a balance of life for one versus a threat to many. As we have developed in our cultures, what we can and cannot realistically do has changed. So the Church has noted that the balance has changed, significantly. The assessment “practically nonexistant” is Papal and carries tremendous weight.

But the Church recognizes that societies and capabilities can change. The moral balance remains, so the teaching remains. The same is true of Just War doctrine. Pope Benedict has repeatedly expressed an opinion that our capabiltities have reached the point where Just War may be impossible. But, again, capabilities can change, so the balance of legitimate self defense vs. the horrific destruction of war still exists in teaching, even if it is not viewed as a practicallity today.
 
From what I have read, the Church obviously hates the fact that we have a death penalty. The institution, after all, carries with it plenty of grief, pain, and other bad-bads. At the same time though, the Church believes that it can be an unfortunate yet necessary option in many instances – from justice to public safety to overall public well-being.



Now, replace everything above about the death-penalty with abortion and you might come to better understand the “pro-choice position”.

Or in other words, calling us “pro-abortion” would be as logical and empathetic as calling the Church “pro-death-penatly”, unless of course, any of you out there participate in “pro-execution” parades on busy public promenades! 😛

I, by the way, am anti-execution. 😉
Tell me how an innocent unborn child and a criminal who is guilty of (insert a crime, murder, rape, etc.) by their own free will and choice are comparable.

THAT is a ludicrous example.
 
Of course, but by saying so the “death solution” is still on the table. The last time I checked, most pro-choicers feel the same way about ugly little abortions, and if not most, at least me. So in essence, you already understand pro-choice.

Why so non-binding? Is there a reason the Church is *afraid *to ban the death penalty altogether?

Why not apply the same reasoning to dirty, dirty abortion?
I don’t dismiss your logic. You are right in applying the terms to the structure. What you miss out on are the medical facts of abortion.

There is no medical reason to deliberately kill the pre-born human. You do know that the Alan Guttmacher institute agreed with this right? (Alan Guttmacher is the research partner for Planned Parenthood).

You might be more in agreement with the Church’s position on double-effect and less with the death penalty. The law of double effect states that when you are treating one person for an illness, and that treatment inadvertently kills the other patient, it is not a deliberate murder.

Thus, if a pregnant mother is diagnosed with cancer, she may receive chemotherapy during pregnancy. This almost always results in the death of the pre-born human, but it was not the intended result.

A pre-born human being invited into the womb by two adults who consent to sexual intercourse is completely innocent and unable to defend his or herself or plead her case. Compare this to a grown adult choosing to hurt other people and having the ability to appear in court, to have a lawyer, to speak for their case.

Saying they are the same is being intellectually dishonest.

And let’s just get over the boring little argument of rape and child pregnancy that is on your lips right now. Those account for less than 1/2% of the reasons given for abortion in America.

P.s. I wanted to add that in America, all people are presume innocent until proven guilty. We should never judge someone simply because they are on death row. Have there not been plenty of people exonerate by new technology?
 
Your stance on abortion matters very little in a country where abortion is available on demand for any reason, for pretty much the entire duration of the pregnancy.

Anyone who is “pro-choice” supports this horror, no matter what their personal set of rules on abortion may be.
 
Tell me how an innocent unborn child and a criminal who is guilty of (insert a crime, murder, rape, etc.) by their own free will and choice are comparable.

THAT is a ludicrous example.
Actually, Pope John Paul II ties them together in Evangelium Vitae, the encyclical that declares direct abortion to be infallibly always a grave moral disorder.

Our teaching is not that fetal life is particularly extra special. Our teaching is that every living human person has an inalienable right to life from the moment of conception (deemed to be fertilization) to natural death. Euthanasia is also infallibly a grave moral disorder, regardless of rather the person is ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
 
Actually, Pope John Paul II ties them together in Evangelium Vitae, the encyclical that declares direct abortion to be infallibly always a grave moral disorder.

Our teaching is not that fetal life is particularly extra special. Our teaching is that every living human person has an inalienable right to life from the moment of conception (deemed to be fertilization) to natural death. Euthanasia is also infallibly a grave moral disorder, regardless of rather the person is ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
I still see no reason to believe that is a good comparison.
 
Interesting to equate tens of millions of abortions with a few dozen executions of criminals conducted after numerous due process reviews.

I was watching some television program about convicts in a “Super Max” prison. And the convicts were interviewed and described how much they enjoyed killing. One fellow even cut up a prison counsellor … while in the prison, he stabbed the fellow 20 or 30 times deliberately and coldly, so that the fellow would HAVE to bleed to death … that with so many stab wounds, there would be absolutely no way of saving that innocent man’s life.

When a guard was asked about the “harshness” of the conditions in the SuperMax prison, the guard responded that each of these prisoners already had received many “second chances” and that they had deliberately chosen the path that had led them to this terrible imprisonment.

So don’t feel any misplaced sympathy for these prisoners either in SuperMax or on death row. They earned it. They worked hard for it and they knew exactly what they were doing.
 
I still see no reason to believe that is a good comparison.
And many Evangelicals don’t. But our (Catholic) teaching is that each of us is a unique creation, infinitely loved by God. God loves the ‘criminal’ as a fetus, as an invalid on life support, and every stage in between at a level beyond our understanding.

We are called to do the same (or as close as we can). We are to try to love as Jesus (the Lord) loved, and love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus made it clear that ‘neighbor’ includes our most hated enemies.

Saying that a fertilized zygote is obviously more valuable than a condemned prisoner is a very understandable human reaction, but it is not a particularly Catholic or Christian one. We are to execute prisoners only when we have no other means to protect society as a whole. Otherwise, we are to treasure the prisoner’s life as much as the fetus, whose destiny as a human person in society is yet to be written.

This is the difference between being anti-abortion and pro-life (in the Catholic sense).

This can sometimes be hard to accept. It is very human to think, ‘of course I am a better person than that horrible convict’, but we are warned in the Gospels of the false confidence behind such moral comparisons. In Mass each week we all profess that we are not worthy, we all are mindful of our sins. We do not say, “Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but I’m a lot more worthy than so-and-so over there!”
 
So don’t feel any misplaced sympathy for these prisoners either in SuperMax or on death row. They earned it. They worked hard for it and they knew exactly what they were doing.
Except the one’s who were innocent, right?

I have no problem with supermax, however the death penality is just bad.
 
And many Evangelicals don’t. But our (Catholic) teaching is that each of us is a unique creation, infinitely loved by God. God loves the ‘criminal’ as a fetus, as an invalid on life support, and every stage in between at a level beyond our understanding.

We are called to do the same (or as close as we can). We are to try to love as Jesus (the Lord) loved, and love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus made it clear that ‘neighbor’ includes our most hated enemies.

Saying that a fertilized zygote is obviously more valuable than a condemned prisoner is a very understandable human reaction, but it is not a particularly Catholic or Christian one. We are to execute prisoners only when we have no other means to protect society as a whole. Otherwise, we are to treasure the prisoner’s life as much as the fetus, whose destiny as a human person in society is yet to be written.

This is the difference between being anti-abortion and pro-life (in the Catholic sense).

This can sometimes be hard to accept. It is very human to think, ‘of course I am a better person than that horrible convict’, but we are warned in the Gospels of the false confidence behind such moral comparisons. In Mass each week we all profess that we are not worthy, we all are mindful of our sins. We do not say, “Lord I am not worthy to receive you, but I’m a lot more worthy than so-and-so over there!”
I’m Catholic, I don’t believe either abortion or the death penalty is right. If you read the OP you’ll see it is a pro-choicer reasoning that since the Catholic Church accepts a very few circumstances for the death penalty then it should also accept a very few circumstances where abortion is a viable option.

THAT is what I am arguing is a poor comparison. Neither human should be put to death, and I am not saying an unborn child is more important, I am merely arguing that the comparison is faulty due to the child’s absolute innocence and a criminals unpardonable offense.
 
I’m Catholic, I don’t believe either abortion or the death penalty is right. If you read the OP you’ll see it is a pro-choicer reasoning that since the Catholic Church accepts a very few circumstances for the death penalty then it should also accept a very few circumstances where abortion is a viable option.

THAT is what I am arguing is a poor comparison. Neither human should be put to death, and I am not saying an unborn child is more important, I am merely arguing that the comparison is faulty due to the child’s absolute innocence and a criminals unpardonable offense.
Perhaps in our modern, civilized world you have an argument.

It is still not an entirely correct argument, however, as you miss out on some key factors. Namely, we are not discussing two evil and disordered actions. We are discussing one evil action and one action of self-defense that can be evil.

If you can show that the death penalty is never an act of individual or societal self-defense, then you would have an argument. For the Church to agree with you, the teaching on self-defense would have to change. The cyclic death toll to your argument is then apparent, for self-defense is a teaching of human dignity.

So it all falls back to the arguments that all the other posters have already written.

But, kudos to you for opposing the death penalty. I also feel that in our country it is an unnecessary method and one that is wrongly used.
 
I’m Catholic, I don’t believe either abortion or the death penalty is right. If you read the OP you’ll see it is a pro-choicer reasoning that since the Catholic Church accepts a very few circumstances for the death penalty then it should also accept a very few circumstances where abortion is a viable option.

THAT is what I am arguing is a poor comparison. Neither human should be put to death, and I am not saying an unborn child is more important, I am merely arguing that the comparison is faulty due to the child’s absolute innocence and a criminals unpardonable offense.
I know you are being Catholic, and I suspect that the OP was intending to goad. That was why I was reminding you of our resistance to judgment.

What the OP is apparently trying to do is show we are somehow ‘inconsistant’. But it is only by treating the teachings as seperate that we look inconsistant. Together they make sense. We are consistantly pro life, be it a prisoner, a fetus, or the helpless sick. It is just that in the case of the death penalty, a legitimate right to societal self defense must be acknowledged.

Getting us upset and talking about innocent children and vile criminals obscures the underlying teaching and its coherence (which is, again, seemingly the OP’s goal).

Peace
 
From what I have read, the Church obviously hates the fact that we have a death penalty. The institution, after all, carries with it plenty of grief, pain, and other bad-bads. At the same time though, the Church believes that it can be an unfortunate yet necessary option in many instances – from justice to public safety to overall public well-being.



Now, replace everything above about the death-penalty with abortion and you might come to better understand the “pro-choice position”.

Or in other words, calling us “pro-abortion” would be as logical and empathetic as calling the Church “pro-death-penatly”, unless of course, any of you out there participate in “pro-execution” parades on busy public promenades! 😛

I, by the way, am anti-execution. 😉
That’s nice. Why don’t you start your own religion?

For catholics there is no such option. Murder is murder.

I love how people will use any spin possible to justify their defective idea of religion.:rolleyes:
 
From what I have read, the Church obviously hates the fact that we have a death penalty. The institution, after all, carries with it plenty of grief, pain, and other bad-bads. At the same time though, the Church believes that it can be an unfortunate yet necessary option in many instances – from justice to public safety to overall public well-being.



Now, replace everything above about the death-penalty with abortion and you might come to better understand the “pro-choice position”.

Or in other words, calling us “pro-abortion” would be as logical and empathetic as calling the Church “pro-death-penatly”, unless of course, any of you out there participate in “pro-execution” parades on busy public promenades! 😛

I, by the way, am anti-execution. 😉
So, you’re in favor of letting women kill their unborn, innocent babies, but you are not in favor of letting the state kill guilty, dangerous murderers??? That stance makes absolutely NO sense, but is the view of almost every pro-abort person I’ve been in contact with. 😦
 
From what I have read, the Church obviously hates the fact that we have a death penalty. The institution, after all, carries with it plenty of grief, pain, and other bad-bads. At the same time though, the Church believes that it can be an unfortunate yet necessary option in many instances – from justice to public safety to overall public well-being.



Now, replace everything above about the death-penalty with abortion and you might come to better understand the “pro-choice position”.

Or in other words, calling us “pro-abortion” would be as logical and empathetic as calling the Church “pro-death-penatly”, unless of course, any of you out there participate in “pro-execution” parades on busy public promenades! 😛

I, by the way, am anti-execution. You would stop the execution of a guilty person to protect others. Yet execute an Innocent child for the sake of convenience? Why?😉
Now can you tell me what crime the child was guilty of? How the child could be held responsible for a crime and how this is the only possible way of defending innocent human lives against an unjust aggressor?
"Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.
 
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